For the last few days I’ve been pleasantly distant from current events, news, and politics. Along with 19 other members of the Chicago Friars Ski Club, my girlfriend and I traveled to Taos, New Mexico to indulge in some skiing. And as always when I’m on vacation, I did my best to leave the rest of the world behind.
The travel itself was a bit of a chore… a cramped three-hour flight to Albuquerque, then a two-hour-plus drive to Taos (in a small caravan of rented SUVs), which is itself a half-hour from Taos Ski Valley proper. And the hotel we stayed in turned out to be, well, adequate at best. But the trip was well worth these minor inconveniences.
Our club is a friendly and diverse group, and in particular the couple with whom we shared our SUV were terrific company. The dining scene in Taos caters to the tourist trade, and far exceeds what you’d ordinarily expect to find in what is basically a one-main-street desert town: in particular, I have to give a wholehearted recommendation to the Old Blinking Light, a cozy establishment with great service, excellent food, and absolutely without reservation the best margaritas (and not coincidentally, also the most potent margaritas) any of us had ever had.
And oh, yeah, then there was the skiing… and Taos lived up to its reputation! The weather was inconsistent (cloudy one day, foggy the next, gorgeously sunny the next, and so on) but not inhospitable, the snow was good (even if only a little of it was fresh), and the mountain itself was beautiful, with well-designed and well-organized trails that provided a challenge for every level of skier. I’d been warned that Taos was geared toward experts—and while I may be a black diamond skier in the midwest I tend to stick to blues out west in the real mountains—but while the long mogul runs and double-black chutes are there they don’t get in the way of the rest, and I was able to test my limits without getting over my head. My girlfriend, meanwhile, doesn’t ski at the same level as I do, but Taos is famous for its world-class ski school, and after a day in a private lesson she improved her form considerably. There was also a great little NASTAR run for the racers among us, and a terrain park at which one of our group landed, umm, one jump out of two. And it was all gloriously uncrowded—I never had to wait more than thirty seconds in a lift line. My only real complaint is that after years as one of the last holdouts against snowboarders, this was the season the resort buckled and finally let them in.
I’ll just share a few photos and be on my way, before the happy glow completely wears off…
Tags: skiing, Taos